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Data Sciences Group Supported VESGEN Software Highlighted in Upcoming TechBytes Article
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Data Sciences Group Supported VESGEN Software Highlighted in Upcoming TechBytes Article

The Ames Center Innovation Fund (CIF) project, “Critical 2D-to-3D Transformation of NASA's VESGEN Software for Astronaut Health Countermeasures and Terrestrial Medicine/Ecological Commercialization,” was selected to be highlighted in an article in the Spring 2017 edition of TechBytes (Volume 2, Issue #1). The CIF team is led by Dr. Patricia Parsons-Wingerter, who is the Principal Investigator (PI) and a biomedical engineer in the Space Biosciences Division. Other team members include staff and interns of the Data Sciences Group.

BACKGROUND: In 2005, NASA began developing the innovative VESsel GENeration Analysis (VESGEN) 2D software through a startup award. VESGEN 2D maps and quantifies vascular remodeling for numerous vascularized biomedical tissue applications. It can be used for analysis of the entire body from head to toe. The software performs fractal-based vascular segmentation derived from a weighted multi-parametric repertoire of complex physiological branching rules. VESGEN 2D is being used for assessing astronaut retinas pre- and post-flight to the International Space Station (ISS) to address the health risk of Visual Impairments associated with Intracranial Pressure (VIIP). This is a high-priority astronaut health risk as acknowledged by the Human Research Program (HRP) for NASA’s Exploration Medical Capabilities (ExMC).

Accomplishments for the first year of the CIF project included preliminary progress towards transformation of VESGEN from 2D to 3D, a frequently requested commercializable capability recommended by Ames Research Center’s (ARC) Technology Partnerships, as well as image preprocessing advances for extraction of binary (black/white) vascular patterns from grayscale clinical and microscopic images. The latter was a key contribution by Hamed Valizadegan of the Data Sciences Group, and his student intern, Sneha Ramesh. The second year will include completion of a preliminary version of VESGEN 3D that aims to position ARC to work with Johnson Space Center (JSC) Med Ops / HRP on astronaut VIIP progression, and to work with a number of other U.S. government organizations, academia, and external commercial partners (Silicon Valley in particular). The PI currently has 3 active NASA and NIH grants for VESGEN 2D applications.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: National Institutes of Health (NIH), Ames Center Innovation Fund (CIF)

COLLABORATORS: David Kao (TNC), Rodney Martin (TI), Matthew Murray (Biomedical Engineer), Patricia Parsons-Wingerter (SC), Marina Predovic (Undergraduate Student Intern), Sneha Ramesh (Undergraduate Student Intern), Hamed Valizadegan (TI/USRA), and Ruchi Vyas (SST/SGT)

POINT OF CONTACT: Rodney Martin, rodney.martin@nasa.gov

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